We believe that the National Health Service must be a public service funded by, run by, and accountable to local and national government. The Green Party is completely opposed to any form of privatisation within the NHS. The recent spectacular collapse of Circle's management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire serves as a warning of the dangers.
This is why Green MP Caroline Lucas has presented the cross-party NHS Reinstatement Bill to Parliament, and why it has my full support. The bill will end the privatisation of the NHS and restore the founding principles of the NHS: providing care that is truly public, free at the point of delivery, and fully protected. The NHS should not be subject to market forces, whether internal or external. As it is, large chunks of it are constrained by the mortgages from hell which are the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) introduced initially by a Conservative government but enthusiastically promoted by the last Labour Government's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Smith. Even George Osborne (in opposition) called PFI totally discredited, but has continued the policy.
The proposed NHS Reinstatement Bill would restore the obligation on Government to provide a comprehensive health service, abolish competition and market-based commissioning, and re-establish public accountability of our NHS. Caroline’s presentation of this bill is emblematic of the Green Party’s commitment to taking back our health service for the public good. We have championed the fight for a publicly funded, publicly provided NHS, and will continue to do so until a complete restoration is achieved.